Can Red Bull challenge Mercedes in 2021?

With limited development allowed for the forthcoming season, Red Bull will be hoping to close the gap to the champions.

30w ago

Yesterday, Red Bull became the fourth team to unveil its 2021 car: The RB16B.

Despite the livery being strikingly similar to last season, the Milton Keynes-based outfit will be hoping for big improvements compared to the 2020 car, which took two victories courtesy of Max Verstappen.

The team's last Constructors Championship win came back in 2013, the final season of the V8 era, with Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull both sealing their fourth consecutive respective titles. The car won 13 races, with the German responsible for all of these victories; the final nine grand prix of the season were all won by Vettel.

Yet since the beginning of the turbo hybrid era, Red Bull haven't been able to get close to the seemingly untouchable Mercedes. The German team are looking to make it an eighth consecutive title in 2021.

Red Bull will be desperate to stop the Mercedes juggernaut before sweeping regulation changes come into effect next year.

The RB16 has removed all Aston Martin branding, while also adding Mexican sponsorship thanks to their new driver Sergio Perez

The RB16 has removed all Aston Martin branding, while also adding Mexican sponsorship thanks to their new driver Sergio Perez

Tough restrictions have been placed on the development of the 2021 cars compared to their predecessors, in an attempt to cut costs. Rule changes to reduce cornering speeds, an area which is traditionally strong for Red Bull, will also change the aerodynamics at the rear of the car.

Despite this, the team are hoping to reduce the instability issues which plagued them throughout last season. Honda have also brought forward their power unit planned for 2022, in order to close the gap to Mercedes before the Japanese company pulls out of the sport at the end of the year.

Teams will be hoping to clawback the downforce lost at the rear through other aerodynamic developments, which are not subject to any restrictions this year. Limitations on structural parts are in place however, with teams allowed to spend two development 'tokens.'

The Austrian team did not provide any information on how this car will differ to its predecessor, driven by Verstappen and now reserve driver Alexander Albon.

With the experienced Sergio Perez joining the team, the four-time World Champions will be hoping their developments will bring them closer to Mercedes, but the Brackley-based team have been developing their 2021 challenger since last August - such was their advantage last season.

Verstappen and Perez will be taking the RB16B around Silverstone today during a filming day, with Albon driving the 2019 RB15 car.

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Comments (5)

  • Red Bull can challenge Mercedes (and god knows we need someone to do so) the real question is whether or not, across the season, they actually will..

      6 months ago
  • I needed a laugh. Thanks.

      6 months ago
  • They did go aggressive on the rear floor, and that can go either extreme way.

      6 months ago